I often notice a very quick look of horror on faces when I mention about incorporating fats into our diets.
The 'low-fat' message has been very powerful and as a result, we're brainwashed into going that route, often to the detriment of our health, as low fat tends to mean higher sugar, or artificial sweetener, to make the product more palatable.
I understand why. Fats are more calorific. 1 gram contains 9 calories, whereas 1 gram of either protein or carbohydrate contains 4 calories.
However, making room in our diets for small amounts of healthy fats every day is vitally important - for our skin, our brains, hormones such as oestrogen and testosterone, energy levels, for the overall day to day functioning of our body.
Not only the sources of omega 3 and 6 discussed already, but also sources of omega 9, a monounsaturated fat (also called oleic acid), a fairly stable oil that helps to keep our arteries supple and is found in the oils produced by our skin glands.
It is found in olive oil, avocados, almonds, pistachio, pecan, hazelnut and other nuts. Eating raw sources of these fats (i.e. unroasted nuts) can not only deliver the benefits of oleic acid, but also provide fibre, fat soluble vitamins (A, E) and other minerals.
Incorporating avocados into smoothies is a great way to consume this healthy fat, such as my green smoothie recipe.
Eating a handful of raw nuts and seeds every day, as your mid morning snack is also an easy way to incorporate them into your diet, or making these raw chocolate brownies, both of which will be more filling and nutritious than a low fat processed product.
Or lastly, consider using unrefined, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil in salad dressings - along with flaxseed oil and other unrefined seed oils.